Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Read: "The Detachment" by Barry Eisler

Read: The Detachment by Barry Eisler, 2011, ARC copy- to heck with the ISBN.

I received an ARC of this in my Bouchercon gift bag. I was happy to see the ARC, I also lucked into an Eisler ARC when attending Muskego 2-3 years ago. My excitement waned when I realized the regular book released at about the same time I got this.

Eisler brings together the main guys from his two series. John Rain and Dox. Ben Treven and Larison. I have decided they are all scumbag killers. Rain is a great anti-hero because I like the guy. But, he is a hired killer with no remorse. Okay, okay, he has some remorse for a lifetime of killing but he is still happy to take your money and kill your wife. Or competitor. Or politician. Or whoever it is. I think one way Rain remains likable is that Rain and his work are removed from daily life. Rain gets hired by governments or crime organizations, not by regular people.

Short version: Rain hired by Treven and Larison to kill people. Rain brings Dox in on the deal. Col. Horton is the purse manager and assigns the targets. The team of four strong personalities have to work together. Two people are murdered by the team and when they are looking at the third assignment in D.C. they are set-up to be killed by Horton. Team escapes. Team has to work to get free. Team has to stop terrorist attack in Lincoln, NE.

1. Eisler's Larison is a scary dude. Larison is a ruthless and happy killer. He enjoys his work and puts out a vibe of danger. Never mind that we already know he is a rapist from reading Lost Coast, he also is in favor of murdering Horton's innocent daughter.
2. Horton is also a scumbag. His plan to assist and then stop a coup includes allowing several domestic terrorist attacks.
3. The one thing I disliked about Detachment is that the plot interacts too much with reality. Eisler's previous books involved actual events like government sanctioned assassinations, renditions, oligarchy assholes. But, all those books involved smaller scale and secret events. This novel goes full-on, gonzo thriller with an alternate reality: Terrorist attacks in the U.S. Presidential speeches and appointments. Homeland security and domestic paranoia. Media nonsense and uproar.
4. Eisler loves name brands. One favorite is Wilson 1911s. Which, although somewhat rare compared to most guns, are easily obtainable by Dox at a local gunshow in Viriginia. For fucks sake. The Wilson website lists the Supergrade starting at $4,475.

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